Filed for publication with the Mirror
Mr. Ian West
Vice President of Operations
New Horizons Community of Care
Dear Mr. West;
I am writing as I have great concern for how this decision you have taken to lay off all your staff and bring in non-unionized staff is going to affect my friend who is living in your New Horizons residence here in Campbell River.
My friend, for whom I hold power of attorney, is suffering from dementia and does not adjust to change or form new relationships or bonds easily As a result, there is no doubt that this change will not be good for her and many other residents like her.
My friend and most of the other residents that are cared for at New Horizons, require very skilled, empathic and self-assured staff to care for them and to ensure that they have a reasonable quality of life, as they live out their last days or years. It is my understanding that the current staff at New Horizons, despite doing challenging work, are already among the lowest paid health care workers in Campbell River. Consequently, I really fear for the kind of care that my friend would be subjected to if she was to be cared for by undoubtedly less skilled workers who were poorly paid, and possibly unable to speak her language very well.
If it is important for Park Place, New Horizons Community of Care to “enrich the lives of seniors” as your logo states, I think you need to work with your current staff and their union to ensure that they receive wages and conditions that they can live with, even though your profits may not be as great. In that way your company would demonstrate to your clients and their families, friends, and our community, that you are prepared to do your utmost to care for and “enrich the lives” of our more vulnerable and challenged seniors.
In addition, this would more likely help your employees feel well treated by your company.